The Malik Report
Updated 3x at 3:33 PM: If the Detroit Red Wings plan on rebounding from yet another frustrating outcome (see: Friday's 3-2 loss to Carolina and three of their past four games) when they battle the St. Louis Blues on Sunday (12 PM EDT--11:30 AM CDT local start--NBC/97.1 FM), the Wings had better pick up their individual and team games in a hurry.
In theory, the Blues represent "easy pickings": their 3-0 loss to Dallas on Friday was their 5th straight defeat, and Patrik Berglund may or may not have joined the following players, listed by Fox Sports Midwest's Nate Lasch, on the "too banged-up to play" list:
The Blues' list of scratches Friday night was quite lengthy: forwards David Backes (lower body), T.J. Oshie (upper body), Vladimir Tarasenko (hand), Vladimir Sobotka (undisclosed injury), Brenden Morrow (foot) and Derek Roy (undisclosed injury), defensemen Jordan Leopold (ankle) and Ian Cole (healthy scratch) and goalie Niklas Lundstrom (healthy scratch).
As the Belleville News-Democrat's Norm Sanders noted, just as the Wings need Columbus to drop their game in Florida today and the Wings need to win tomorrow to earn the 1st Wild Card spot, the Blues require assistance in order to avoid battling the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round:
We've been looking at the standings since the tenth of never, it seems, so we may as well give 'em another glance after the Red Wings dropped a 2-1 decision to the Carolina Hurricanes in their regular-season home finale:
The Blue Jackets--who will end the year with more wins and more regulation-or-OT wins than the Red Wings no matter what happens--dropped a 3-2 decision to Tampa Bay, and they battle the Panthers on Saturday, but things get complicated from there:
There aren't many Red Wings prospects still playing outside of the AHL, but three took part in meaningful games on Friday night--and lest I forget, Ben Marshall and the University of Minnesota will be battling Union for the NCAA Division I championship on Saturday at 7:30 PM (on ESPN).
In the QMJHL, Anthony Mantha regained his form, registering 3 goals, an assist and a +3 as his Val-d'Or Foreurs defeated Drummondville 5-2, taking a 3-2 lead in the teams' second-round series.
Mantha now has 10 goals, 5 assists and 15 points registered over the course of 9 playoff games, though he's also -1;
In the OHL, Tyler Bertuzzi scored a goal as his Guelph Storm defeated the London Knights 5-4, winning the series 4 games to 1 and advancing to the OHL's Western Conerence Final, where they'll play the Erie Otters.
I shouldn't be upset about this one. The Red Wings dropped a 2-1 decision to the Carolina Hurricanes in a "game that didn't matter," in no small part because the Tampa Bay Lightning did Detroit a favor in taking out Columbus (who wraps up its season tomorrow in Miami)...
But I am upset about this one. On "Fan Appreciation Night," the Wings came out flatter than a month-old bottle of Vernors with no bottle cap, both the Wings' defense (cue the inevitable Kyle Quincey and Brian Lashoff staring at Elias Lindholm as he scores a softy on Howard for the 1-0 goal and the Wings getting burned and then some on a line change on the 2nd goal), the goaltending (Howard was poor on both goals) and the forwards were all awful in the first period...
Where can you find Pavel Datsyuk if he’s not on the ice? There’s a good chance he has gone fishin’. Maybe even shopping at Bass Pro Shops.
It’s his passion.
Now you can go fishing with him during the Red Wings’ camp next fall in Traverse City, but it’s going to cost you.
Bidding starts at $3,000 for a half-day of fly fishing on the Manistee River with Datsyuk and guide Greg Miller to benefit the Adams Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
Just don't expect to catch the biggest fish.
And while we're at it...
Updated 3x at 6:54 PM: A significant slate of catch-up articles = I ran out of room in the Red Wings-Hurricanes game-day update post, so, ahead of tonight's tilt between the teams (7:30 PM EDT on FSD Plus/FS Carolinas/97.1 FM), here's the Red Wings' Game Day Preview...
And as so much of today's Wings talk, radio interviews (now including Ken Holland on WDFN), Nyquist talk, discussion of Holland's take on player development, etc., Wings coach Mike Babcock's comments to the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness may have been overlooked...
DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose reports that Red Wings legend Ted Lindsay is recovering from major surgery:
The 88-year-old Hockey Hall of Famer underwent surgery to replace his aortic valve Wednesday at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. It is the same hospital that his foundation donated $1 million to help children with autism and their families last week.
Known as a tough-as-nails competitor during his 17-seasons in the NHL, Lindsay had known for several weeks that he needed to have the procedure.
The aortic valve separates the heart's left ventricle from the aorta, allowing blood to flow into the aorta from the heart. This blood is usually rich in oxygen and is carried by the aorta to the rest of the body.
Lindsay was walking ICU floor Thursday night and even enjoyed a Popsicle. It’s possible that he will be moved out of the Intensive Care Unit today, and if his recovery continues to go as planned he could be sent home by early next week.
“I cannot begin to tell you how great dad is doing,” his daughter Lynn LaPaugh wrote in an email. “They want him up a couple of times walking today and then resting.”
As noted in the game-day update thread, the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reported that Red Wings back-up goaltender Jonas Gustavsson may be nursing some sort of shoulder injury.
So, as reported in the game-day update post (which is still being updated--so prepare for more Wings news in that post), the Red Wings chose to bring up Jared Coreau to take part in today's morning skate, and as Petr Mrazek played for the Grand Rapids Griffins as they dropped a 3-0 road decision to the Charlotte Checkers, the team chose to allow Mrazek to get some sleep before Mrazek was recalled to back up Howard today--and probably Sunday:
The Detroit Red Wings today recalled goaltender Petr Mrazek from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins and assigned goaltender Jared Coreau to the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye.
Updated with more from Nyquist at 1:48 PM: The Canadian Press's Stephen Whyno delivers a different take on Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist's offensive flourishing this morning, snagging comments from Nyquist's teammates as to why #14's taken the league by storm:
"He made a splash right away: first game, two goals, when he came up, so I don't know if it's a surprise," [Daniel] Alfredsson said. "Maybe a surprise he's been able to keep up that pace. We hadn't seen him in the NHL as much. He's made a name for himself, a reputation for himself."
"It feels like he's one step ahead sometimes, knowing where the puck's going to end up, and that's how he scores a lot of goals," [Jonas] Gustavsson said on a recent trip to Toronto. "He's going to the right spots. I'm not surprised that he has been scoring a lot for us. Maybe he's scored more than I thought right now."
"Sometimes in the NHL if you're playing with great players, you're going to find a way to put that in, and he's done that," defenceman Brendan Smith said. "It's been huge for our club."
Whyno continues with more from Alfredsson, Gustavsson, Smith, and this superlative from coach Mike Babcock:
I know KK's readers may be a little annoyed with the onslaught of Red Wings posts this morning (I needed to take yesterday off, sorry), but I think that Ken Holland's interview with the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness is absolutely essential reading, so I'm going to post it in a separate entry (it's already in the Wings-Canes game-day update post) because Holland delivers a one-paragraph answer as to why the Wings don't promote young players "early":
"Establish yourself as a legitimate premier minor league player and then you prove it at the next level,” the Wings’ general manager said during a phone interview Thursday. “That’s how you get to the American League from juniors, or college or Europe. When you’re an established, top notch player, we sign you to a contract to the next level.”
About The Malik Report
The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.